You never know what they are thinking until you go on more “dates”
As you mockingly make fun of me in your head for comparing twitter and dating I think the two are very similar in nature. Like dating, twitter is a place where friends recommend their friends. A place where you search for people with common interest. And a place where the ice breaker is found in finding out what the other person does for a living (or what they blog about).
But the real similarities I see between the two are the barriers that are there between two people. The good/bad thing about twitter is there are some constrictions on how much you can say and communicate. This definitely forces you to be more direct, to the point, and creative. The only problem comes in when some things get lost in translation (or for our argument, lost in the interwebs). In a place of brevity, how are you suppose to get a gage on the other person?
Being the young eligible* bachelor that I am (at least that is what people tell me) comparing dating and twitter seems only natural. Those first couple of dates only bring concern of what the other person is thinking about what you say and what you do. You over evaluate ever smile, moment of silence, and word that comes out of their mouth. Twitter seems to provide that same kind of awkwardness, at least at first. A place where we try and respond to someone with a sense of urgency but not desperation. A place where we try and “flirt” through RT’s and #FF but give off the impression that we are sort of interested but not really.
With the thought of twitter being similar to dating I thought I would throw out some ideas on how to make your first “date” go smooth.
1. Auto DM
You have followed that person who seems cool, they even followed you back. The ball is in your court, and what do you do? You throw an auto DM at them. This is the equivalent of “I only see you as a friend” rejection rather then a “let’s get to know each other a little better.” Yes, it is good to let people know all 37 websites and social media accounts you have, but it is better to let them discover it themselves. If they are truly interested in getting to know you they will go and find it themselves. A simple URL in your twitter bio will provide the place to start and will take the pressure off that initial “I think I am awesome so read all of my stuff” conversation.
If it is wise to never talk about past relationships, marriage, and living in your parents basement on the first date, then it is also wise to not auto DM new followers.
2. Express Interest In Them
Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? Asking a lot of questions initially is a great way to get the ball rolling in a relationship. The same can be said of twitter. Being interested in what they have going and who they are is a great place to start. I find it easy to engage in a conversation with someone on twitter by simply paying attention. Following what they are saying in a non-creeper way and responding to a link they are sharing or a question they are asking is a great way to start the conversation. It is important to take notice of what they are saying and sharing and then respond accordingly. It is never good to be that guy or girl that says “oh that sounds interesting, hey I wrote a post about how my blog makes millions of dollars, you can read it here.” That is similar to being on a date and finding any chance to talk about how big your muscles are, how great of a kisser you are, or that you have 14 cats in a 1 bedroom apartment. Don’t be that person.
3. Be Proactive
This is the biggest thing. Being proactive shows that you are interested in the conversation and who they are. I have found that when I take the first step of shooting an @ reply or a DM their way it starts the ball rolling on a great relationship. You never know what kind of friendship’s will come out of making that initial tweet. Twitter is all about sharing, but it first has to start with a request.
Relationship’s take time and effort. The same can be said about twitter, time and effort go a long way. This might sound crazy to anyone reading this, but ever relationship I have in Nashville today is because of twitter. I moved here because of people I met on twitter, I got plugged in because of people on twitter, and I make a living because of twitter. Just like dating, you have to start somewhere and see where it goes.
Twitter and Dating are one in the same, the only difference is one is done from a computer the other is done in person (at least I hope it is).